The importance of preventing sharps and needle stick injuries

The importance of preventing sharps and needle stick injuries
Pic credit: flickr

Needle stick injuries are wounds caused by needles that accidentally puncture the skin. Sharps basically include any object that is able to cut the skin, such as scalpels, razor blades, scissors, metal wire, pins, staples, cutters, and glass items.

Needle stick and sharps injuries are a major hazard for people who work with hypodermic syringes and other needle equipment. They may happen at any time of using, disassembling, or disposal.

The risk of sharps and needle stick injuries is usually highest amongst workers in health and social care environments as they directly handle sharps. However, if not disposed of correctly, these needles and sharps can get mixed and concealed in linen or garbage, thus injuring other persons who encounter them unexpectedly.

The main risk from these injuries is the potential exposure to infections such as blood borne viruses (BBV) which includes the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which leads to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

Infections can occur when there is contact with a sharp that is contaminated with blood or a bodily fluid from a patient. There is also a potential for injection of hazardous drugs into the system. And accidental punctures by contaminated needles can inject hazardous fluids into the body through the skin. Even small amounts of infectious fluid can spread certain diseases effectively.

How can needle stick and sharps injuries be prevented?

Preventing injuries is the most effective way to protect yourself and those you work with. It is recommended to follow a comprehensive sharps injury prevention program, which should include:

  • Following recommended safety guidelines.
  • Effective disposal systems.
  • Use of personal protection equipment (PPE).
  • Training on the correct use of sharps and needles.
  • Proper training in disposal procedures.
  • Employee awareness on risks and good practices.
  • Making relevant information and support available.

Biosite Cleanup technicians are backed by expertise and knowledge, to locate and safely remove any sharps and needles. The clearance of sharps is an extremely dangerous task as just one false move could result in a life-threatening injury. Don’t take the risk, contact us on 0409037634 today.

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